Personal Hygiene- toothbrush and razor no longer throwaway

Monday, August 30, 2010

Solar Powered Toothbrush Could Make Toothpaste Obsolete

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shiken, Soladey-J3X, green gadgets, solar power, green design, eco 
design, sustainable design, green products
When we first saw this new gadget, we thought “Oh, a mechanical toothbrush powered by the sun.” But that isn’t what this is. Instead of using solar rays to charge itself up, the toothbrush uses them to catalyze a powerful chemical reaction that could leave your mouth way cleaner than regular old brushing does. “You see complete destruction of bacterial cells,” says Kunio Komiyama, the inventor of the device. Oh, and did we mention that no toothpaste is required? Watch out Colgate!
Mechanical University of Saskatchewan dentistry professor emeritus Dr. Kunio Komiyama and his colleague Dr. Gerry Uswak are recruiting 120 teens willing to brush with a prototype light-powered toothbrush and sit in a dentist’s chair for a few extra inspections. The manufacturer, the Shiken company of Japan, is paying the researchers to investigate whether the brush, which causes a chemical reaction in the mouth, does a better job of eliminating plaque and bacteria than a conventional toothbrush.
Komiyama’s first model, which was described 15 years ago in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, contained a titanium dioxide rod in the neck of the brush, just below the nylon bristles. It works when light shines on the wet rod, releasing electrons. Those electrons react with acid in the mouth, which helps break down plaque. No toothpaste is required.
Now Komiyama’s back with a newer model, the Soladey-J3X, which he says packs twice the chemical punch compared to the original. Protruding from the base of the brush is a solar panel, which transmits electrons to the top of the toothbrush through a lead wire. It won’t work in the dark, though – the brush needs about as much light as a solar-powered calculator would to operate.

Synthetic Diamonds Offer Key to Razor Blades That Last Years, Not Weeks

eco-friendly shaving, eco-friendly razors, eco-beauty, personal 
products, synthetic diamonds, wearable technology, GFD
Photo by dotbenjamin
Hair today, gone tomorrow? A diamond-tipped razor blade from Germany could soon supplant its disposable counterpart in the face-shaving department—and we’re not just splitting follicles. Developed by Gesellschaft für Diamantprodukte(GFD) in Ulm, the Diamaze PSD comprises a tungsten carbide blade that is coated with a film of synthetic, industrial-grade diamonds. Sharpened to produce a cutting edge of only a few nanometers, the blade is said to last 1,000 times longer than conventional steel, meaning it stays sharp for years, rather than weeks.

eco-friendly shaving, eco-friendly razors, eco-beauty, personal 
products, synthetic diamonds, wearable technology, GFD


The Ulm-based company has been manufacturing blades coated with synthetic diamonds for almost a decade, albeit for less-glamourous equipment such as medical scalpels, drill bits, and probe needles. That was before Andre Flöter, founder of GFD, had the brainwave to apply diamond’s near-invulnerability to break into the multibillion-dollar consumer razor industry.

GFD engineers use a “plasma-sharpening” process to create a cutting edge as small as 3 nanometers.

But toughness isn’t the only quality the hirsute look for in razors. To ensure a clean, close shave, GFD engineers use a “plasma-sharpening” process that involves sticking dozens of blades upright in a vacuum chamber and then pummeling them with oxygen or chlorine gas that has been excited to a plasma state. The resulting radius of curvature at the cutting edge, according to GFD, can be as small as 3 nanometers—or only a few atoms in width.
Of course, blades manufactured this way would cost a lot more than conventional ones, but Flöter insists that they’ll pay for themselves in the long term. “If one adds together the costs of disposable razors over the period of one year,” he says, “then our diamond blade could certainly be a reasonably priced alternative.”

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